Does Freezing Fat Really Work?

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One of the newest advances in technology when it comes to cosmetic procedures is the non-invasive procedure of CoolSculpting. This process uses a technique called cryolipolysis to remove body fat from areas of the body. It's done by freezing the fat cells on parts of the body where it may be difficult to lose weight by traditional means, such as diet and exercise. The process is simple – these fat cells are frozen and the extreme cold is able to kill those cells without damaging the surrounding tissue. Your body will remove those cells that have been killed over the course of four to six months, and the fat in these areas will go down about 20 percent. So what's the actual deal with this procedure? Is it safe? Does it really work? Here are some of the big questions about CoolSculpting answered.

What should I expect?

When you come into a clinic for this procedure, you may be nervous about what to expect. Fortunately, unlike other riskier treatments that break through the skin, the process is extremely simple and brief. The process will be performed by a doctor or trained professional with a handheld device that looks similar to a vacuum cleaner. They will place a gel pad and applicator to the part of the body you're sculpting, targeting the fat cells with controlled cooling. They will continue to move the vacuum-like device around, targeting the various places along the area and administering suction and cooling. You may experience a pull or a pinch here or there, but the process itself is extremely reasonable and very few individuals feel any pain. The provider may also administer a massage afterward to break up any frozen deep tissue, which may be slightly uncomfortable and help your body absorb the fat cells that you've just killed. Depending on what location you're working on, the process will take around an hour. Afterward, you'll be able to leave and head back to your daily routine with zero downtime to recover, as the procedure is simple and not invasive.

Is it safe?

The CoolSculpting process is non-surgical, so it doesn't require any skin or tissue damage. Unlike liposuction, where you have to go under the knife and anesthesia, the cryolipolysis technique is brief, comfortable, and comes with many less side effects during the procedure. That means the risks are lower than with typical liposuction, and there is a much lower chance of complications. The only real side effects experienced are swelling, skin redness, and soreness similar to one you might feel after an intense workout. There is no downtime to heal from the procedure, without having to worry about taking a few days off work to rest. While it is a safe and highly effective procedure for almost everyone, however those with conditions such as cryoglobulinemia, cold agglutinin disease, and paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria (PCH) should not do this treatment because of the complications it might cause. Always speak to a doctor or professional before continuing with this treatment.

Does it work?

CoolSculpting isn't for those who are extremely far away from their ideal weight goal. The process is called “sculpting” – it is not recommended to help with extreme weight loss. If you are only about 20 pounds over your ideal weight and are looking to “sculpt” certain parts of your body, such as chin area, love handles, and back fat, this procedure might be for you. The fat cells that are killed by the process are gone for good and will not return, so the procedure does indeed do its job. However, to prevent new fat cells from forming in these areas, a healthy amount of diet and exercise must be included in your routine. It is also not always a quick fix, as you may need a few sessions to fully get the results you want. When paired with healthy lifestyle choices, CoolSculpting can be an extremely effective form of toning your fattier areas and removing cellulite.

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